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Mar 13, 2011

Custom Domain Canonical Problem

Aside from missing title tags, short description, and duplicate content. webmaster consider the domain canonical issue in order to have a better ranking in search engine.

What is Canonical issue?

This issue is referring to accession of your site url with www or non-www url prefix. (i.e If your site is and someone type your site in url without including www and your site is not redirected to www version then you have this issue.) . Search engine can penalized sites and remove your pages in indexing if this issue was not address. And all it takes is a simple oversight in your end.

How to check Canonical issue?

You can do a quick test, key in into the browser. Be sure to leave off the www. Does the URL redirect to the www version? You are experiencing a canonical issue. In actual basis these two URL’s are the same but in search engine side these are completely different site with the same content. In that point you site is going through a serious issue with serious penalty “duplicate content”. If your site can’t be access in both ways you need to think about it to configure it so early. Imagine the number of users that might access your page without using www and result to this page.

Fix a canonical issue.

To avoid such problems you can use the following lines in your .htaccess file to force only the www version of your web site:

RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^$
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.$1 [R=301]

Please take note that .htaccess file should be located in root directory of your website.

It will redirect non-www version of your site to the www version by using a 301 permanent redirect. In that way you can’t have duplicate content.

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